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Ethel Ennis: If Women Ruled the World

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For some folks, chasing the rainbows of “stardom” simply isn’t in the cards. Such is the case with Baltimore’s jazz singing treasure Ethel Ennis. Largely eschewing the limelight, Ennis had a jazz club for a time in the “Charm City,” yet she has never chosen to be a roadrunner for any length of time. This is her first recording date in quite awhile and she takes great advantage of the opportunity, laying down 12 sparkling tracks that are a choice mixture of standards, one original, and several selections from diverse and distinctive women, including Billie Holiday, Joan Armatrading, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Carole King, and Bonnie Raitt-thus the title. Though one could also make a case for the title in the case of Ethel and a couple of potent horn soloists, most notably trumpeter-flugelhornist Ingrid Jensen and two cameos on soprano sax from Jane Ira Bloom.

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